The Unseen Impact Of Social Media Marketing

The Unseen Impact Of Social Media Marketing

Fairly often when I talk about social media and its role in a PR and marketing effort, people ask me this question: If I invest my money in social media marketing, how many leads will I generate or products will I sell? Whenever I get this question, it hits home that there’s a fundamental misunderstanding about what social media marketing is – or is not. As I try to explain, what social media does most effectively is create brand recognition and keep your name in front of the people you’re trying to reach. And, of course, through that process it should definitely have an impact on your sales. But it can also be an unseen impact, not just direct-response sales or leads. So, what do I mean by an unseen impact? I was just discussing this with Jay York, our senior social media strategist, and he had a great way of explaining it. Years ago, the popular TV show “Seinfeld” was often referred to as a “water cooler show” because the morning after a new episode aired people would chat about it with their co-workers. So, even those people who never watched an episode of “Seinfeld” learned about the Soup Nazi, puffy shirts and an eccentric holiday known as Festivus. They became part of our culture at that time … and still are! The same water-cooler-type moments hold true with social media. When people see something on social media that strikes their fancy, they’re likely to mention it in real life to friends or associates. It could be a restaurant, or a book, or a new store that opened...
4 Reasons Why Live Video Should Be Your Latest Publicity Tool

4 Reasons Why Live Video Should Be Your Latest Publicity Tool

Anyone who tunes in to television news is familiar with those moments when the anchor announces dramatically that “we are now going live” to a reporter who’s on the scene of whatever extraordinary event has grabbed the attention of the news crews. But in all your years of watching such broadcasts did you ever imagine that one day you might have the ability to “go live” with your publicity efforts? Well, that day has arrived (which could mean that flying cars and robot maids aren’t far behind). Just recently I was talking with our social media team about the popularity and benefits of Facebook Live, a social media format that allows people to speak directly to an audience in a visually interesting and content-rich format. Anyone with a smartphone can literally “go live” on Facebook to express views on a new theme park ride, demonstrate how to prepare a gourmet meal, teach guitar lessons or talk about whatever topic moves them on that particular day. And it’s free! But the even more exciting thing to me is how this can be used by anyone who wants to promote their brand. For example, a financial professional who writes a blog on retirement issues could in addition share the same information with clients and potential clients through the live video. So just why would you want to make this one more part of a well-rounded publicity campaign? I mean, after all, you’ve got that blog that’s serving you well, right? And you already post on Facebook. Here’s one reason. As wonderful as the written word can be, video has a significant...
How Social Media Can – And Can’t – Help You Survive PR Calamities

How Social Media Can – And Can’t – Help You Survive PR Calamities

Everyone has a PR misstep every now and then, but few brands have experienced the kind of unmitigated publicity disaster that United Airlines has dealt with the last couple of weeks. Certainly, I hope you haven’t. By now I’m sure you and nearly everyone you know have seen that viral video of a United Airlines passenger getting yanked out of his seat by police, his face smashing into the armrest in the opposite row. Other passengers, clearly mortified, aimed their smartphone cameras at the ordeal. In seemingly no time, the video was shared online, news organizations reported on the PR disaster, and people on social media skewered the airline relentlessly. All because United Airlines needed to open up a few extra seats on the flight and couldn’t come up with a more delicate way of solving the problem. I often talk about what a great tool social media is for promoting yourself or your brand, and how in this day and age social media is an essential element in an overall publicity campaign. And that’s just as true as ever. But, as the United Airlines situation reveals, social media is a double-edged sword that can be used against you when the publicity tides turn and customers want to complain about your service. As I pondered that situation, I decided to ask Jay York, our senior social media strategist, to share a few tips about the role social media can and can’t play when your brand gets a black eye. Here’s what Jay had to say: Get ahead of the problem before social media is involved. While it’s great when...
How Can I Supercharge My Social Media Efforts?

How Can I Supercharge My Social Media Efforts?

Why You Should Use Social Media to Build Your Opt-In Email List! By now, everyone knows that social media is a key component to any marketing campaign. At least if you’ve been reading these newsletters you do. But aside from the obvious benefits of outreach and awareness, there is something else you can be doing with your social networking campaign that can supercharge all of your efforts: build an opt-in email list. I know from my own experience that social media marketing has enabled me to increase my email list by thousands, with those on the list continuously receiving my newsletters that carry my advice, my tips and my message. My newsletter helps my social media contacts remember me and what I do, not because I am actively selling and promoting myself. Like my social media strategy, I use these pieces to add value to the lives of the people on my list. My formula is simple – if some of you like what you read, when you have the need and the resources and are considering using a PR firm, you might consider my company. And that’s it. What’s more, I know it works, because I’ve used this formula to build a thriving 27-year-old business. Adding value for my clients is the real reward I have enjoyed by combining my email and social media marketing efforts. So how can you do this? Let me share a few actions that we find are successful. Join Targeted Discussions and Post Valuable Content. Within your social networks, stay abreast of trending topics and discussions that your target audience will find relevant....
Seeing Your PR Campaign In 4-D

Seeing Your PR Campaign In 4-D

With movies such as “Logan,” “Alien: Covenant” and many others being filmed in 3-D these days, I started thinking about how a good PR campaign also has its own 3-D elements. Although since there are four types of media outlets – TV, radio, social media and print (offline and online) – what you really need is a 4-D strategy. (Yes, I’m sure those brilliant physicists Sheldon and Leonard from TV’s “Big Bang Theory” would take issue with my science.) In PR, unlike movies, 4-D is the only way to go. I mention this because people frequently ask me which of those four media options is better.  I try to explain that each is effective in its own right. But since the media feeds off itself, the most effective PR campaign will include using all elements in a strategy that leverages a 4-dimensional approach. Here are some ways the different elements of a 4-dimensional PR campaign fit together: Print/Online – I put print and online in the same category because they both encompass written articles, and just about everything that appears in print is repurposed online. That means written articles have a dual impact. Most importantly, every article or column that includes a mention of you, your book or your company eventually will appear online, meaning you’re just a Google search away from potential customers or clients. Also, an enterprising TV producer or radio show host who’s interested in interviewing you can find those articles, and that can help confirm for them that you’re a credible expert in your field. Those articles also are great fodder for social networks. Being...
Simple Tips To Make Design Work  For You And Your Brand

Simple Tips To Make Design Work For You And Your Brand

Like many of you, I’m excited about 2017 and the possibilities for another successful year. To achieve that success all of us need to be looking for ways we can improve, and over the years I’ve noticed that one extremely important area where people can improve is in the design on their websites and on their social media platforms. I’ve always felt that the content of your copy and the design that enhances that content are equally important. You can have great content on your website, for example, but if the design accompanying it is unprofessional, visitors will zip right past it in search of something more credible. At the same time, a captivating design can grab people’s attention, but if it turns out that you’re all flash without substance, they may leave and never return. Over the last several months it seems that I’ve shared a lot with you about the content side of things – what to say, how to say it and when to say it. I’ve been a lot less focused on design, but let’s remedy that right now. Quite some time ago we recognized just how essential graphic elements are in brand promotion and that’s why our team includes Becky Lofgren, our in-house graphic designer, who works solely with our social media clients. Becky shared with me a few simple things you can do to help get the most out of your design. Select the right color. Any color that appeals to you is a good one, right? Not exactly. Colors can evoke certain emotions so you want to choose a color that sends...